Amazon enjoys a monopoly of sorts when it comes to e-book readers. While people who don’t read ebooks very often will find the price of Kindle e-readers outrageous, many people who do don’t mind shelling out the premium for the perfect reading experience.
After all, an excellent ebook reader that ensures 24×7 access to all book at your fingertips can be priceless.
This year, Amazon has made several significant changes to its flagship e-book reader, Oasis. The 9th gen model has a metallic back, is water-resistant, supports Audible books (Select markets), and has a bigger screen. While all these changes are certainly alluring on paper, how is the overall experience in practice? Let’s discuss in our full review.
All New Kindle Owasis 2017 Review
- Excellent e-ink display
- Fastest Kindle model
- Water resistance
- Big screen makes a difference
- Not as ergonomic as last generation model
Kindle Oasis 2 Design and Ergonomics
Comfortable handling has always been given prime consideration for flagship Kindle devices. With the new model, Amazon sticks with the familiar oasis design from last year. But the big question is, has it been able to maintain the same level of comfort and ergonomics while scaling the display size to 7-inch and using a heavier metal casing? This complication surely seems to call for some sort of trade-off being involved. Let’s see.
The 6-inch Kindle display was a uniformity that we were quite comfortable with over the years, and the jump to 7-inch screen felt radical (6.5 would have been perfect maybe?).
When we unboxed the Kindle Oasis 2, it didn’t look like a BIG change, but when we started using it, it was hard finding the right grip. The ridge on the back helps guide your fingers hit the right spot, but your hands will slip if you try and grip it firmly. There were numerous inadvertent touches and the page turn buttons didn’t seem very accessible.
These, however, proved to be initial hiccups, things that we learned to deal with overtime. After about to two weeks of usage, we can comfortably hold it for hours. Holding it while lying down in the bed at night is still a problem, though.
Also, we don’t find the feel of the metal as agreeable as the matte polycarbonate (especially in this cold weather), but since we use a cover on our kindle this isn’t much of a botheration. The increased weight was much easier getting used to. After a week of mild resistance, we could appreciate the decisions Amazon has taken for the course ahead.
And the Kindle Oasis is now waterproof which is something we have wanted on the Kindle for a long time. Even if you don’t plan on reading it in the shower or while relaxing in a pool, the protection against spillage entails some peace of mind.
The new Kindle is cheaper, but if you factor in the cost of the missing case (the last year’s model shipped with a battery case) it adds up to be a tad expensive than last year’s Oasis. A good quality cover is of utmost importance because you wouldn’t want to shell all that money for experience and end up obscuring it underneath a shoddy case.
- The new Kindle is bigger and heavier, but we got used to the changes after a few days.
- Initially, it felt less comfortable to wield than last generation Oasis.
- Once you get used to the larger screen, it’s tough going back.
- The metal casing gives it a more premium feel. The touch glass can fend off scratches.
- Waterproofing lends some piece of mind.
- Unlike last year, Amazon doesn’t bundle a case in the box. So, the effective price hasn’t decreased as it might seem.
Kindle Oasis 2 Display
The display quality is excellent. As you’d expect from e-ink screen, It’s extremely light on eyes, looks fabulous under sunlight, and is efficient on the battery.
Amazon retains pixel density of 300 ppi and uses 12 LEDs for lighting the e-ink panel. At maximum brightness, whites are noticeably less bluish then last year’s model. Of course, if you are upgrading from Kindle Paperwhite, you will find the display to be a lot more enchanting.
There is an option to enable Auto-brightness but it tends to keep the display brighter than what we personally like and thus we ended up switching to manual mode after a couple of days.
The bigger size helps you fit slightly more text. If you use bigger fonts while reading, you will value the extra screen real estate even more.
- Kindle Oasis has an excellent quality e-ink display.
- The LED lighting and color temperature have been improved too.
- There is an option for Auto Brightness. We resorted to using manual brightness, though.
Kindle Oasis 2 Performance and Battery
The performance is another area that has improved. The new Kindle Oasis is faster. This is one area that Kindle needed to improve in 2018. Due to the e-ink display being used, it’s still not as fast as contemporary phones and tablets but judging my Kindle standards, the Oasis 2017 sees a healthy performance upgrade.
The software isn’t vastly different from what you get on other Kindle devices, especially in India. Out of the box, Audible support doesn’t work for devices in India, but we could make it work unofficially. If you are interested in reading Audible books on Kindle Oasis in India, you can refer to the linked article below.
The battery inside can last for about 5 days with 1.5 to 2 hours of reading per day, which is very manageable. Charging speed has also improved. We can top up the battery in under 2 hours.
- New Kindle Oasis sees a healthy performance upgrade. It’s significantly faster.
- Software remains same, save for some new Accessibility features.
- Audible isn’t supported in India, but you can make it work.
- Battery can last for a week of moderate usage.
Kindle Oasis 2 Review: Should you buy it?
The Kindle Oasis 2 is certainly the best ebook reader you can buy today. But you must already know that by now. Initially, we were a bit averse to the design choices but after living with the new Kindle for 2 weeks, we don’t feel like going back to the smaller screen size. In all other aspects, the Kindle Oasis shows significant improvement over its predecessor.
Arguments that “you might as well buy the Paperwhite” are untenable in our opinion. The Kindle Oasis 2 is a superior product. It does feel overpriced but your money will be well spent if you are into reading ebooks.
You can buy the new Kindle Oasis from Amazon.in for Rs. 21,999. The higher 32GB storage cellular variant (data limited to Amazon services) costs Rs. 28,999.